So what can you do?
Two small things can have a big impact:
- Report any incidents of bogus callers or rogue traders in your neighbourhood.
- Share the advice below with vulnerable friends and family.
How to stop doorstep crime:
- Lock your doors whether you are in or out.
- Donít allow in any callers who havenít made an appointment.
- Fit a chain or, ideally, a door-bar to allow you to open your door a little to see who is outside.
- Fit a peephole to your door to let you see who is outside without opening the door. If you donít have a peephole you can answer callers to the door from a window.
- Do not accept ID badges as proof of identity as these can easily be forged.
- Look out for your neighbours and, if something seems wrong, contact your local trading standards office or Police Scotland.
- Donít worry about seeming rude. Genuine callers expect you to be careful.
How to avoid being taken in by bogus workmen.
There are individuals & companies out there who specifically target our
elderly and most vulnerable people in our communities. Bogus callers use
many methods to extract or steal money from their victims. They can pretend
to work for a legitimate company, use distraction techniques or use unscrupulous
Here is some advice for householders.
- It is perhaps best to use a company that has been recommended by a relative, friend or neighbour rather than any companies who "cold call" attend at your home uninvited.
- Always use companies who have a telephone landline and business address. But be wary of numbers that appear local. These can be bought and re-routed to a mobile.
- Always get at least three quotes from three separate companies
- Get a detailed description of the work that is required and the work that is going to be undertaken
- Get a definite price for the work that is to be completed and what exactly that price entails.
- Ensure a contract is presented and that you thoroughly read and understand the contents.
- Ensure there is a "cooling off periodwithin the contract which legally has to be included in any administration
- Do not make a decision on the day - not even if they use pressure sales technique saying they can only hold the price for that day.
- Consider asking for references and check out the sources
- Do not pay any money until you are satisfied with the standard of the work that has been completed.
- Do not under any circumstances pay more money than was agreed
- Do not under any circumstances allow any workmen to convey you to the bank
- Consider having a friend or a relative with you when speaking with the representatives of the company.
- If workmen attend at your home and you are unsure as to their identity do not open the door. You can speak to them via a window or use a door chain or bar.
- Neighbours - always look out for the elderly or vulnerable in our communities.
Download the Bogus Callers & Workmen information sheet .
- If in doubt, residents are advised to contact Police Scotland on their easy to remember number 101 and ask for advice or to report an incident or cold-callers operating in your area.
- Alternatively, call Citizens Advice Scotland on 08454 04 05 06
- If you wish to remain anonymous telephone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.